|Publication number||US6861785 B2|
|Application number||US 10/149,384|
|Publication date||Mar 1, 2005|
|Filing date||Nov 30, 2000|
|Priority date||Dec 16, 1999|
|Also published as||CA2394476A1, CN1263174C, CN1409877A, DE60020600D1, DE60020600T2, EP1238436A2, EP1238436B1, US20020190610, WO2001045139A2, WO2001045139A3|
|Publication number||10149384, 149384, PCT/2000/3339, PCT/FR/0/003339, PCT/FR/0/03339, PCT/FR/2000/003339, PCT/FR/2000/03339, PCT/FR0/003339, PCT/FR0/03339, PCT/FR0003339, PCT/FR003339, PCT/FR2000/003339, PCT/FR2000/03339, PCT/FR2000003339, PCT/FR200003339, US 6861785 B2, US 6861785B2, US-B2-6861785, US6861785 B2, US6861785B2|
|Inventors||Philippe Andre, Patrick Almosnino, Gilles Cortese, Roland Moussanet, Patrick Rousset|
|Original Assignee||Schneider Electric Industries Sa|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Referenced by (24), Classifications (16), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention relates to a self-powered remote control device comprising:
Known remote control devices generally comprise a transmitter and a receiver to control an electrical apparatus. Transmitters of known type have electronic circuits enabling a high frequency, infrared or ultrasonic electromagnetic radiation to be emitted. The radiation emitted by the transmitters is preferably modulated and encoded to provide satisfactory operating safety when several transmitters and receivers are used.
The receivers receive the emitted radiation, then detect and decode the signal received. The decoded signal is used by electronic circuits to control in particular electrical apparatuses.
Fixed or mobile self-powered transmitters generally require a power supply provided by disposable or rechargeable batteries. Management of replacement of the batteries makes the use of self-powered transmitters extremely constraining. Furthermore, frequent use of the transmitters leads to rapid discharge of the batteries and consequently to frequent replacements and a high operating cost. Self-powered transmitters are also liable to present defects or to stop functioning if the batteries are discharged or missing.
Devices exist whose generator is an oscillating magnetic circuit. However the power supplied by such generators is low and the remote control devices are bulky. A device of this type is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,471,353.
Other devices comprising an electromagnetic generator with higher performance are described in the European Patent application EP-0,826,166. However, in these devices the volume can not be sufficiently reduced for them to be integrated in apparatuses of small dimensions.
The object of the invention is therefore to achieve a remote control device comprising a self-powered transmitter able to occupy a small volume.
In a self-powered remote control device according to the invention, the generator comprises at least one piezoelectric element receiving mechanical stresses produced by actuation of the control means and supplying electric power to the feeder circuit.
In a preferred embodiment, the feeder circuit comprises electric power storage means to store electric power supplied by the piezoelectric element.
In a particular embodiment, the control means comprise means for calibrating mechanical energy to strike the piezoelectric element with a predetermined mechanical impact and travel.
Advantageously, the means for calibrating mechanical energy comprise at least one spring leaf having two stable states to command a calibrated movement of a striker when a changeover position is passed.
Preferably, the piezoelectric element comprises a flexible metal support and a pad made of piezoelectric material arranged on one face of said support.
Advantageously, the control means strike the piezoelectric element on the opposite side from the pad.
According to a first alternative embodiment, the flexible metal support is held freely in a housing designed to receive it.
According to a second alternative embodiment, the flexible metal support is secured by means of a seal arranged on a rim directed towards the face of said support comprising the pad.
Preferably, the piezoelectric material of the pad is essentially composed of ceramic or copolymer.
Advantageously, the piezoelectric element has a mechanical resonance to increase the duration of electric power supply to the feeder circuit.
For high efficiency, the means for storing electric power comprise at least one electric capacitor, the capacity of the storage means being between 0.4 and 50 microfarads.
Particularly, the capacity of the storage means has a value between 2 and 10 microfarads.
In a preferred embodiment, the device comprises electric power management means connected to the feeder circuit to control an initialization and encoding phase and a transmission phase.
In a particular embodiment, the transmission means comprise emitter means and receiver means.
Advantageously, the transmission means comprise emitter means supplied by an output port of an integrated circuit.
Preferably, the device comprises storage means connected to the transmission means.
Preferably, the device comprises counting means connected to the transmission means.
Preferably, the transmission means comprise transmission condition checking means.
An apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention comprises a mechanical actuating means and a self-powered remote control device as defined above, said means being able to actuate the control means associated to the power generator.
In a particular embodiment, the apparatus is an electrical switchgear apparatus comprising mechanical actuating means to actuate the control means according to the state of said switchgear apparatus.
In an apparatus according to a particular embodiment, the transmission means emit signals usable to perform logic selectivity.
In an apparatus according to a preferred embodiment, the transmission means emit signals usable to perform differentiated annunciation.
Advantageously, the transmission means emit signals representative of a number of operations of said apparatus.
In a particular embodiment, the apparatus is an electrical control apparatus comprising mechanical actuating means able to be actuated by an operator.
In a particular embodiment, the apparatus is an electrical control apparatus comprising mechanical actuating means able to be actuated by a movement of a mechanical device.
An electrical installation according to an embodiment of the invention comprises high-frequency receiver means and at least one self-powered remote control device as defined above, said receiver means being designed to receive signals emitted by said at least one self-powered device.
Advantageously, the electrical installation comprises at least one electrical cabinet containing at least one self-powered remote control device as defined above, and an automatic control circuit connected to the receiver means.
Preferably, the electrical installation comprises at least one apparatus as defined above.
Other advantages and features will become more clearly apparent from the following description of particular embodiments of the invention given as non-restrictive examples only and represented in the accompanying drawings in which:
A remote control device according to an embodiment of the invention is represented in FIG. 1. The device comprises a piezoelectric element 1 to supply electric power to an electronic transmission processing circuit 2.
The piezoelectric element 1 supplies electric power when an impact or a mechanical stress is applied to said piezoelectric element.
The electric power produced by the piezoelectric element is applied to the electronic circuit 2 which comprises, in this embodiment, a rectifier bridge 6 connected to the element 1 and supplying a rectified current, a capacitor 7 connected on output from the bridge to store the electric power by accumulating the rectified current and to supply a DC voltage Vc to an electric power management circuit 8. The management circuit 8 controls an encoding circuit 9 to initialize and transmit information. A high-frequency transmitter 10 connected to the encoding circuit emits encoded high-frequency signals by means of an antenna 11. Encoding of the signals serves in particular the purpose of identifying the transmitting device. The transmitter 10 can also comprise receiver means to receive for example parameter setting information during power supply.
An example of structure of a piezoelectric element is represented in FIG. 3. In this example, the piezoelectric element comprises a flexible metal support 17 on which a pad made of piezoelectric materials is fixed. The pad 18 is preferably made of ceramic or copolymer presenting high efficiencies.
A calibrating device for calibrating an impact on a piezoelectric element is represented in
At rest, the spring leaf 24 is in a first position 25 away from the pad. When the button 4 is actuated, the fork 21 presses on the striker device 22 which moves the spring leaf 24 with it. As soon as the movement of the leaf passes a mid-way changeover position, the leaf moves suddenly to a second stable position 26. In moving to the second position, the leaf drives the striker device 22 towards the element 1 and the impact end 23 strikes the piezoelectric element. The characteristics concerning the mechanical impact on the piezoelectric element and the mechanical travel of the striker device are thus dependent on the spring leaf and the distance with respect to the piezoelectric element. The button can be operated either quickly or slowly. The spring leaf stores energy when it is moved between the first stable position 25 and a changeover position. The energy stored by deformation of the leaf is then released when the leaf moves to the second stable position 26. When the impact with the piezoelectric element takes place, the mechanical energy is converted into electric power by the pad 18.
When the button 4 is no longer pressed, the return spring 19 moves the button 4 and fork 21 to a rest position. In moving, the fork moves the striker device 22 and the spring leaf fixedly secured to said device 22 back to the first stable position 25.
Advantageously, the mechanical impact against the piezoelectric element is performed on the opposite side from the pad. The electric power over mechanical energy efficiency is thus higher, as is the dependability.
Advantageously, the characteristics of the mechanical impact can be adjusted according to the characteristics of the piezoelectric element used and to the quantity of electric power to be collected.
Depending on the fixing mode of the piezoelectric element on a support, a mechanical resonance enables the duration of electric power supply to the electronic circuit 2 to be increased.
The electric power storage means such as the capacitor 7 are adapted to match the characteristics of the piezoelectric element, the electronic circuit load, and the transmission time. In one embodiment of the invention, the capacitor has a value comprised between 0.4 and 50 microfarads (μF). The capacity of the storage means preferably has a value of 2 to 10 microfarads (μF).
The voltage of the capacitor is applied to a power management circuit 8 to control an initialization and encoding phase and a transmission phase.
In a preferred embodiment represented in
Control of the high-frequency transmitter is advantageously achieved by an output 35 of the circuit 34 which supplies an oscillator. The electric power is thus saved to guarantee a sufficient and dependable transmission time.
The antenna 11 or 44 is adapted to the distance between the transmitter and receiver. Preferably for short distances of a few meters, the transmitting frequency is lower than 400 MHz and transmission is near field. Advantageously the magnetic field will be used with a tuned loop antenna.
Depending on the application in which the device is integrated, the storage circuit can for example store message sending conditions, data to be sent or the application identification.
The counting circuit 47 is used in particular to count the number of commands made on the piezoelectric element. When the device is integrated in an electrical apparatus such as circuit breakers, switches, or contactors, actuations of the mechanism of this apparatus on the piezoelectric element enable openings or closings of the electrical contacts of said apparatus to be counted.
For example in a circuit breaker comprising a device according to an embodiment of the invention, the counter increments its value to be transmitted at each operation of the circuit breaker. In association with sending conditions stored in the storage circuit, a control device can send counting data as soon as a preset number of counted events is reached or exceeded. In addition, the counted values can be stored in the storage circuit. The storage circuit can also be associated to various counting/metering devices such as movement counters, automatic controllers, rotating machines, to-and-fro movement machines, fluid or electricity meters with telemetering. Fluid meters such as gas, hot water or cold water meters with telemetering do not in this case require any external electric power. In this case the self-powered remote control device sends the metering data and an identification frame of the device and/or user. A receiver recovers the data and processes it or sends it to a concentrator or a central unit.
A parameter setting circuit 48 enables other data to be provided which may be awaiting a command to be transmitted. For example, in a circuit breaker the circuit 48 can receive information of the type of fault that is occurring. Then, as soon as tripping takes place or an operation is performed, mechanical energy is given to the remote control device which sends information present in the circuit 48. The information can concern the differentiated fault display functions, logic selectivity functions or for example circuit breaker status reports for example the open, closed, tripped or loaded states.
The electric contact 49 can also serve the purpose of giving information to be transmitted when the remote control device is actuated, for example it can be associated to command of the piezoelectric element 1 to indicate the command performed. For example, the contact 49 can indicate that the button 4 is associated to an opening or closing contact function. Likewise, if the button 4 is replaced by a rotary knob of the switch type with at least two positions, the switch 49 can be representative of the change of direction or of the change of state of the button, for example open or closed position. The button 4 can also be replaced by a means of lever type actuating the piezoelectric element on each change of state or position. The remote control device can also be integrated in an end-of-travel detection device in automated installations, the mechanical energy being provided by the movement of a mechanical element.
Other electrical apparatuses according to embodiments of the invention such as circuit breakers, switches or contactors are equipped with mechanisms that can actuate a self-powered remote control device. The diagram of a circuit breaker 50 according to an embodiment of the invention comprising a remote control device is represented in FIG. 13. The circuit breaker 50 comprises at least one power contact 51 actuated by means of a mechanism 52. A trip device 53 commands the mechanism 52 according in particular to preset current and time characteristics. For example, if a current threshold is exceeded for a preset time, the trip device 53 commands the mechanism 52 to trigger opening of the circuit breaker. The mechanism 52 uses mechanical energy that can also be supplied in the form of an impact or deformation to the piezoelectric element 1 of a self-powered remote control device. In the diagram of
Outside the cabinet 54 self-powered remote control devices can be used for other functions. For example a device 61 can be a mechanical end-of-travel detector or a movement detector, and a device 62 can be an Off, an emergency stop, or an On button. The devices 61 and 62 can communicate with a receiver 63 connected to the automatic control circuit 6.
Other functions or apparatuses can comprise self-powered remote control devices to perform in particular remote control of apparatuses.
Self-powered devices according to embodiments of the invention can be two-way and comprise a receiver that receives information when mechanical energy is applied to the piezoelectric element. Such devices can have a synchronization cycle with a remote transmitter. For example, on a command, the device sends information to indicate that it is ready to receive, and the remote transmitter then sends information back to the self-powered remote control device.
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|U.S. Classification||310/339, 310/317, 310/319|
|International Classification||H02N2/18, H02N2/00, H01L41/09, H01L41/113|
|Cooperative Classification||Y02B70/3241, Y04S20/227, H01H2300/03, H01H2239/076, G08C2201/112, H02N2/18, Y02B90/224, Y04S20/14|
|Jun 12, 2002||AS||Assignment|
|Aug 27, 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 1, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8